When a mob of around 500 protesters broke into the gated community in St. Louis where Mark and Patricia McCloskey live on Sunday, June 28, the couple feared for their lives after being threatened, so they did what a lot of people would do—they took a stand ready to defend themselves, their pet dog, and their property.
Portland Place is a historic part of St. Louis, and the streets are lined with multimillion-dollar homes. According to St Louis Magazine that conducted an interview with the couple in 2018, the Italian Renaissance-inspired mansion had “once been St. Louis’s most dazzling mansion.” It was built more than 100 years ago by the son of Adolphus Busch, of Anheuser-Busch fame, reported Fox News, and the McCloskeys spent years restoring it to its former glory.
Speaking with Tucker Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Tuesday, June 30, Mark defended his and his wife’s actions.
“My wife and I were preparing to have dinner, maybe 70 feet from the gate,” McCloskey, 63, said. “By the time we looked up and we saw the marchers coming down Kings Highway and getting loud, we looked over the gate and there’s no police there. Our private security wasn’t there. Nobody’s there.”
The group of protesters approached their house and the couple feared for their safety.
“People start coming in. And then a flood of people start coming in,” Mark said. “They are angry, they’re screaming, they’ve got spittle coming out of their mouth they’re coming toward the house …”
“I turned to my wife and I said, ‘Oh my God, we’re absolutely alone. There is nobody here to protect us.'”
The couple, according to their attorney Albert Watkins, have been supporters of civil rights for a long time, and support the Black Lives Matter message.
The armed themselves with an AR-15 and a handgun only when two or three of the mob, who were white, not black, threatened them and their property. Mark had realized they were in a vulnerable situation, after seeing no security outside, and no police.
In Joe Biden’s America your job is illegal, you are locked in your home, borders don’t exist, MS-13 lives next door and the police aren’t coming when the mob arrives.
This is all of us. pic.twitter.com/qS5ZeZQyU8
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 29, 2020
The couple, with guns in hand, stood resolutely on the front porch and were shown in a video that went viral on Twitter with millions of views.
“When I saw that mob coming through the gate with their rage and their anger, I thought that we would be overrun in a second,” he said. “By the time I was out there with my rifle, the people were 20 or 30 feet from my front wall … I was literally afraid that within seconds they would surmount the wall and come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I had worked for and struggled for the last 32 years.”
“I don’t understand,” he told Carlson. “Here’s the interesting thing, I spent my career defending people that are defenseless. … This is what I do for a living. I help people that are down or that need a hand and people that need a voice.
“To call us racist is ridiculous and it had nothing to do with race. I wasn’t worried what the race was [of] the mob that came through my gate, I was worried that I was going to be killed. I didn’t care what race they were.” He continued, “I saw it all going up in flames and my life destroyed in an instant and I did what I thought I had to do to protect my hearth, my home, and my family.”
The group of protesters was heading for the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who had incited the group after reading out the address of constituents during a live stream, who had contacted her regarding defunding the police.
The Rev. Darryl Gray, an organizer with ExpectUs, directed the protesters to move on after the McCloskeys, who are both personal injury lawyers, appeared on the porch with their firearms. He claimed the mayor “threw gasoline on an already burning fire,” by revealing the addresses publicly, reported ABC.
“In this climate of hatred and this climate of fear and the concern activists have for safety, we didn’t feel that this was the most prudent thing to do in this particular time,” Gray said.
The couple lodged an official complaint to police about the incident, citing “threats of harm,” and on Monday police said there would be no charges laid.
However, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner has advised that she is working in conjunction with police and prosecutors to investigate if the couple could be charged for making threats towards the protesters.
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault,” Gardner said in a video statement Monday evening.
“We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated,” she insisted.
“Since learning of these events over this weekend, I’ve worked with the public and the police to investigate these tragic events.
“Make no mistake, the circuit attorney’s office we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable,” Gardner warned.